SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been convicted at his impeachment trial and thrown out of office.
His removal comes nearly two months after his arrest on charges of trying to sell Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat. He becomes the first U.S. governor in more than 20 years to be removed by impeachment.
…and AoSHQ reports that they’re apparently setting it up so that he’ll never hold office in Illinois again.
However, many think this show has only just begun (as Politico.com reports), especially with respect to Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel…
[Gov. Rod Blagojevich is] going down swinging, with a call to fire Rahm Emanuel for being as guilty as he — according to a theory under which he is being impeached for fighting for citizens right to cheap prescription drugs.
Lawmakers should “demand that President Obama fire Rahm Emanuel” because he favored the program. Blagojevich suggested Sens. McCain and Kennedy be “indicted as co-conspirators.”
“I followed every law and never, ever intended to violate any law,” Blagojevich said. “I’m here to give every possible explanation to every one of these allegations. Who knows, maybe you’ll reconsider and allow me to call those witnesses.”
Today, the Illinois Supreme Court rejected Senator-Designate Roland Burris’ case to force the Secretary of State to co-sign Governor Rod Blagojevich’s appointment form (following are excerpts from an exceptional play-by-play from The Capitol Fax Blog):
The Illinois Supreme Court has just rejected Senator-Designate Roland Burris’ motion to force Secretary of State Jesse White to co-sign Burris’ appointment form…
Because the Secretary of State had no duty under section 5(1) of the Secretary of State Act (15 ILCS 305/5(1) (West 2006)) to sign and affix the state seal to the document issued by the Governor appointing Roland Burris to the United States Senate, Petitioners are not entitled to an order from this court requiring the Secretary to perform those Acts. Under the Secretary of State Act, the Secretary’s sole responsibility was to register the appointment (15 ILCS 305/5(2) (West 2006)), which he did. No further action is required by the Secretary of State or any other official to make the Governor’s appointment of Roland Burris to the United States Senate valid under Illinois law. Moreover, to the extent that additional proof of the validity of the appointment is necessary, Illinois law provides a mechanism for obtaining it without the need for judicial intervention.
For the foregoing reasons, petitioners’ request for issuance of a writ of mandamus is denied. Mandate to issue forthwith.
The ball is now in US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s, um, court. Reid has said that the rule requiring the secretary of state to co-sign has never been waived in the history of the Senate. So, he’ll have to back off that as well if Burris is to be seated.
Reid said this week that the full Senate might vote on whether to seat Burris.
Here’s the alternative route suggested by the Supremes…
There is one final point we feel constrained to mention. While the Secretary of State has no duty under Illinois law to sign and affix the state seal to the certificate of appointment issued by the Governor, he does have a duty under section 5(4) of the Secretary of State Act (15 ILCS 305/5(4) (West 2006))
“to give any person requiring the same paying the lawful fees therefor, a copy of any law, act, resolution, record or paper in his office, and attach thereto his certificate, under the seal of the state.”
The registration of the appointment of Mr. Burris made by the Secretary of State is a “record or paper” within the meaning of this statute. A copy of it is available from the Secretary of State to anyone who requests it. For payment of the normal fee charged by the Secretary of State in accordance with this statute, Petitioners could obtain a certified copy bearing the state’s seal. Because such relief is possible, no order by this court is necessary or appropriate. [emphasis added]
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was banking on the Illinois court to resolve the matter after turning away Burris earlier in the week because his paperwork was not signed.
But White says he still won’t sign the document, since the court didn’t force him. And Democratic leaders on Friday maintained that Burris still cannot take President-elect Barack Obama’s vacant Senate seat without White’s signature.
“Mr. Burris is exactly where he was a week ago,” a senior Democratic aide told FOX News. “He does not have a valid certificate, and we cannot seat him.” […]
But White told several Democratic officials Friday that he will not sign the appointment, maintaining his position that he wouldn’t certify any Blagojevich appointment in the wake of the governor’s federal corruption arrest unless the court forced him.
Further, the AP seems to be reporting that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) will not seat Mr. Burris until such time as they receive a signature from the IL SOS.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said earlier this week that a Senate rule [alledgedly from 1884!] prohibits Burris or any senator from being seated unless they have certificates signed by their states’ governors and secretaries of state.
“We think we have complied with whatever they’ve asked us to do, and we’ve come back with what they required,” Burris attorney Timothy Wright III said in an early-evening conference call. “If they continue to not accept this, I believe we will make a decision to file suit in federal court. Anyone who looks at this has to conclude that we’ve complied.”
Reid spokesman Jim Manley issued this statement in response: “The Senate Parliamentarian, the Secretary of the Senate and Senate Legal Counsel are advising Senate Leadership as we consider a way forward.” …
Wright left little doubt that Burris would file a lawsuit in federal court in Washington, which would almost certainly take months to resolve. Blagojevich was impeached Friday and Senate leaders expect he will be removed from office by Illinois state lawmakers within weeks — long before the resolution of the lawsuit — allowing Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.) to assume the governor’s office and make a fully legal appointment.
Question: Why is the US Senate continuing to stonewall on seating Senate-Designate Burris? What else is going on here, behind the scenes, that will likely result in this case heading to federal court, perhaps even the Supreme Court?
There’s a very good reason why the US Senate cannot, constitutionally, force a State’s hand on this issue (17th Amendment):
When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. [emphasis mine]
If the Democratic Senate leadership continues to push this issue, could it actually be possible that Lt. Gov. Quinn, after potentially becoming Governor, actually appoint a second Senate-Designate for the President-Elect’s old Senate seat?
Just how out of whack is this situation going to get?
Frankly, in my opinion, if I were Rod Blagojevich, I’d play this situation for all it’s worth. While I think he’s ethically and morally guilty as sin, he has managed to call the Majority Leader’s bluff as well as single-handedly and systematically taken the Senate’s time and resources to focus on him.
Again, it really makes me wonder what this is all about. Could Blagojevich squeal? Does he have some serious dirt on someone or somebody? Why would Senate-Designate Roland Burris speak in an affidavit about being a natural born citizen? That citizenship status isn’t required to be a US Senator!
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, says president-elect Obama’s Senate seat will stay vacant until Democrat Governor Blagojevich is removed and a new appointment can be certified:
“At this point we’ve clearly reached an impasse,” Durbin told reporters at his Chicago office.
That’s Democrat speak for the courts don’t see things our way.
Durbin also said the “Senate cannot waive a 125-year-old rule requiring the signatures of both the governor and the secretary of state on any election or appointment.” …
The bottom line here is that the Democrats were afraid to call a special election and let the voters decide who should replace Obama because a Republican might have won the seat. Now, the Democrats are afraid to accept Senator Burris because a Republican might be able to beat Burris in 2010.
So, are we to presume that this is all about campaigning?
Folks, regardless of what happens over the eligibility issue with the President-Elect, it appears that our dear leaders in Congress are going to tie themselves in knots over worrying about keeping a majority in both Houses. Can they possibly do any actual governing while putzing around with federalist issues?
So it’s a good possibility that Reid’s managed to do this; after all, it’s managed to combine the negative consequences of all three scenarios mentioned here. By seating Burris, Reid demonstrates that he and the rest of the caucus won’t keep his word; by seating Burris after turning him away, Reid got to play Wallace at the Schoolhouse Door; and by seating Burris with restrictions, Reid begs the question of whether Burris’ skin melanin content was a factor in what is increasingly a tangled skein of identity politics.
And none of this has anything to do with the GOP. None of this. We - like the rest of the country, actually - wanted a special election. If only Reid and his party didn’t find democracy so infernally messy…
Looks like the dear Majority Leader did, in fact, cave!
Yahoo! News is reporting that allies of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich are seemingly nowhere to be found as he ventures into impeachment proceedings:
The vote to begin impeachment proceedings was unanimous. Former allies have fallen silent since his Dec. 9 arrest on federal corruption charges. Members of a special impeachment committee are uniformly negative in their comments and questions.
“Isn’t anyone here going to stand up for the governor?” Blagojevich attorney Ed Genson asked the committee last week.
The response was silence.
Blagojevich even has trouble finding support closer to home. His circle of aides and informal advisers has fallen apart due to arrests, resignations and the pressure of a federal investigation that dates back six years. His chief legislative ally is retiring next month.
There have been few details about what Blagojevich is doing behind closed doors at his Chicago office, other than signing a few bills and attempting to maintain an air of “business as usual.” His spokesman has said the governor is meeting with aides and staff about Illinois’ $2 billion-plus budget gap, but no one has provided details or stepped forward to confirm Blagojevich is even talking with anyone.
He spends the rest of time at home, save for a few visits to Genson’s office. …
Lawmakers can vote against him for any reason they want. They don’t have to follow rules of evidence or consider reasonable doubt. They could vote to throw him out of office simply because they don’t consider him fit to be governor.
That’s an easier vote to make if no one will stand up and defend him.
His closest ally in the House, state Rep. Jay Hoffman, a fellow Democrat from Collinsville, said nothing to support Blagojevich when the House voted to establish an impeachment committee. Instead, Hoffman said at a news conference that he would resign if he were in Blagojevich’s position.
One of the few people with kind words for the governor, state Rep. Ken Dunkin, said the two-term Democrat faces payback for years of feuding with the Legislature.
“There are a lot of political vendettas that are being played out right now,” said Dunkin, D-Chicago. “It appears to be headed toward a political witch hunt, because there’s not an indictment and there’s definitely not a conviction.” …
Blagojevich, however, faced impeachment talk even before the FBI arrested him, alleging that he schemed to shake down a hospital executive for campaign donations, tried to benefit from appointing the replacement forPresident-elect Barack Obama‘s Senate seat and more.
That means his fate lies in the hands of people who have spent years nursing resentments toward him — like the House member who called him “a madman” or the senator who says he and Blagojevich nearly got into a fist fight.
“A lot of it has to do with a lack of trust,” said state Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield. …
Blagojevich may have hoped to gain a friend by naming Roland Burris to the Senate seat vacated by Obama, but even Burris has been careful not to defend the governor. In fact, Burris has said the federal corruption charges describe “reprehensible” conduct by Blagojevich.
And Burris is being asked to testify before the House impeachment committee, which hopes to wrap up its work this week and give the House a recommendation on whether to consider impeachment.
It would take a simple majority vote for the House to impeach, which basically means accusing Blagojevich of misconduct. Then the state Senate would hold a trial to determine whether he’s guilty. A conviction there requires a two-thirds majority vote.
The House committee is not conducting its own investigation of the criminal charges against Blagojevich. Federal prosecutors have asked the panel not to talk to witnesses. …
“There is no definition in the law,” said Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie. “It will be 118 definitions in the House and 59 definitions in the Senate.”
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Sweeping federal subpoenas of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s administration include requests for records involving David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett, senior advisers to President Barack Obama.
Among 43 subpoenas released by the Blagojevich administration Friday, one from Dec. 8 seeks notes, calendars, correspondence and any other data that relate to Axelrod, Jarrett and 32 other people and organizations.
That was the day before the FBI arrested Blagojevich, a two-term Democrat, on charges that he tried to trade his appointment to replace Obama in the Senate for campaign contributions. Wiretapped conversations show Blagojevich thought Jarrett was interested in the seat and he wanted campaign money or a high-paying job in return, according to a sworn statement.
Obama’s staff released a report in December that said his staff had no inappropriate contact with the governor’s office about the Senate seat, nor was anyone aware of any dealmaking. Axelrod, a Chicago political strategist now in the White House, was not mentioned in the report.
Prosecutors have said Obama is not implicated in the case, and none of his advisers has been accused of wrongdoing. Aides to the president did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Here are some details on at least a partial listing of those individuals and organizations being subpoenaed…
Feds sought info on dozens before arrest
U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald issued a subpoena to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s office on Dec. 8, the day before the Democratic governor was arrested on public corruption charges. It sought “any and all documents, including notes, calendars, lists, correspondence, communications, logs, records, or other data, relating in any way to any of the following individuals and/or entities:”
*Patricia Blagojevich, first lady
*River Realty, her former employer
*Friends of Blagojevich, the governor’s campaign committee
*Citizens for Blagojevich, his former committee
*Robert Blagojevich, the governor’s brother and campaign chairman
*Antoin “Tony” Rezko, former adviser and fundraiser for governor
*Christopher Kelly, former adviser and fundraiser for governor
*Alonzo Monk, former Blagojevich chief of staff, now a lobbyist
*Milan Petrovic, lobbyist and campaign fundraiser
*John Wyma, former Blagojevich adviser, now a lobbyist
*Paul Rosenfeld, lobbyist
*J.B. Pritzker, wealthy Chicagoan whom Blagojevich might have considered to replace Obama in U.S. Senate
*Gery Chico, former Chicago school board president and one-time U.S. Senate candidate
*Doug Scofield, former Blagojevich adviser, now a consultant
*Valerie Jarrett, Obama adviser
*David Axelrod, Obama adviser
*Service Employees International Union
*Tom Balanoff, SEIU Illinois president
*Change to Win, an SEIU-affiliated activist group
*Sam Zell, owner of the Chicago Tribune
*Nils Larsen, an adviser to Zell
*The Chicago Tribune
*The Tribune Co., the newspaper’s parent company
*Michael Vondra, owner of asphalt and construction companies
*Gerald Krozel, vice president of a concrete company
*John Johnston, president of Balmoral Park racetrack
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois House voted overwhelmingly Friday to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, an unprecedented action that sets up a Senate trial on whether he should be thrown out for abuse of power, including allegations that he tried to sell President-elect Barack Obama‘s vacant Senate seat.
Impeachment required just 60 votes. The final result was 114-1.
Legislators accused the second-term Democratic governor of letting down the people of Illinois by letting ego and ambition drive his decisions.
“It’s our duty to clean up the mess and stop the freak show that’s become Illinois government,” said Rep. Jack D. Franks, a Democrat.
Blagojevich was out jogging in his Chicago neighborhood when the vote came down. When he returned to his home, he compared his situation to a short story about a petty criminal called “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner.”
“And that’s what this (impeachment) is, by the way, a long-distance run,” Blagojevich said, promising to say more at an afternoon news conference.
Blagojevich is the first governor impeached in Illinois’ long and often sordid political history. He could become only the eighth U.S. governor to be impeached and removed from office; the last was Arizona’s Evan Mecham in 1988.
During the House’s 90-minute debate on impeachment, no one spoke up to defend the governor. But Rep. Milton Patterson, a Chicago Democrat, made the sole vote against impeaching Blagojevich.
The next step:
The Illinois Senate is working to draft rules for a trial, which could begin as early as next week. The chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court will preside over the proceedings.
The vote by the House was 114-1 and marks the first time in the state’s 190-year history that a governor has been impeached, despite Illinois’ longstanding reputation for political corruption.
Rep. Milt Patterson (D-Chicago) was the lone vote against impeaching the governor. Patterson, from Chicago’s Southwest Side, said after the roll call that he didn’t feel it was his job to vote to impeach the governor. He declined comment on whether he approved of the job Blagojevich is doing.
A Blagojevich spokesman said the governor will not resign.
Why would he resign? He just got done rolling Harry Reid, and Fitzgerald’s indictment is still months away. I’m not even sure what the charges against him in the impeachment trial will be at this point. Supposedly he can no longer perform theduties of governor effectively. Really? He was effective enough to make the entire U.S. Senate choke on the Burris appointment.
This simply doesn’t flow right, now does it, ladies and gentlemen?
Like this: What if the next Governor — presumably the current Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn — is installed and decides he is going to appoint the next US Senator? Kind of makes you want to pass the popcorn and watch what the next moves will be, eh?
(CNN) – The secretary of the U.S. Senate on Monday rejected the certificiate of appointment for Roland Burris, named by Illinois’ controversial governor to fill Barack Obama’s Senate seat, according to an aide to the secretary.
The aide said Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erickson rejected Burris’ appointment because it does not conform with the Senate rule requiring that the secretary of state — in this case, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White — must sign the certificate of appointment along with the governor.
White has declined to sign the certificate, siding with some Senate Democrats who say Burris should not be seated because of the cloud over Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is accused of trying to sell Obama’s Senate seat.
Although Dana Bash needs to get some better researchers: every Senate Democrat is on the record as saying that Burris should not be seated*. There are a bunch of regular Democrats who are objecting to the Senate’s stance on this, true: but they’re disproportionately African-American, and there are no African-American Senators.
Which I believe is part of the point.
The festivities start at 12 noon tomorrow, and Reid’s probably praying for an ice storm, because Burris is coming. Reid, of course, has done what he always does in difficult circumstances - go to Mitch McConnell for help - but I can’t begin to imagine what Harry has that Mitch would want, this go-round. Or at least want more than the sight of Harry Reid emulating George Wallace at the Senate door.
So, will Reid cave? Maybe, maybe not: it’s not like he’s got a good option at this point. If he doesn’t, the aforementioned George Wallace scenario plays out. If he does cave, then we’ve established once and for all that Harry Reid can be forced to retreat even when he has a working majority in the Senate and the President of the United States backing his play. If Blagojevich can do it, trust me: so can we. And we will. And then we’ll laugh.
Then there’s the third option: that Reid lets Burris in, but doesn’t actually let him do anything like vote or sit on committees or propose legislation. In that case, I think it’s a fair question to ask if Senate Democrats will at least let Burris use the white people’s bathroom and water fountains…
*It goes like this:
A. Any Senatorial pick by Rod Blagojevich would be unacceptable to the signers of the Reid letter.
B. Roland Burris is a Senatorial pick by Rod Blagojevich.
C. Therefore, Roland Burris is unacceptable to the signers of the Reid letter.
WASHINGTON – Eager to put the scandal-tainted standoff behind them, Senate Democrats accepted Roland Burris as President-elect Barack Obama‘s Senate successor on Monday and said they expect to swear in the new Illinois senator this week.
“He is now the senator-designate from Illinois and, as such, will be accorded all the rights and privileges of a senator-elect,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said in a joint statement.
At a news conference in Chicago, Burris called himself honored and humbled to be the state’s next junior senator. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve,” he said and added: “I recognize that my appointment triggered a challenging time for many.” …
Reid and Durbin said they now anticipate that Burris, a formerIllinois attorney general, will be seated this week, barring objections from Republicans.
They made the announcement after Burris’ lawyers delivered to the Capitol documents certifying his appointment to Obama’s seat, and thesecretary of the Senate determined that the paperwork met Senate requirements.
While a victory for Burris, the move is a major reversal for Senate Democrats.
They initially indicated they would refuse to seat Burris and objected to the appointment by Blagojevich, who is accused by federal investigators of seeking to trade the Senate seat for personal favors.
Senators feared that any appointee would be tainted. …
Reid spokesman Jim Manley said Monday that Reid doesn’t intend to have the Rules Committee review Burris’ appointment, and that the Senate will vote on the appointment by unanimous consent unless there is an objection that would trigger a roll call vote.
From Illinois to Washington, Republicans assailed Senate Democrats for how they handled the issue.
Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, who is leading the Senate GOP’s election efforts, accused them of “arrogant mismanagement” and said: “This entire situation has been a national embarrassment that could have been avoided.” He pledged to make winning the Illinois Senate seat a top priority for Republicans in 2010.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Andy McKenna added: “Democrats chose to trust a madman over the people of Illinois” by seating Burris instead of blocking Blagojevich’s appointment and holding a special election. …
After lawyers for Burris and the Senate met for under an hour in the Capitol to review the documents, Reid and Durbin issued the statement that they were satisfied both with the documents and with Burris’ testimony before the impeachment panel that he did nothing wrong.
There was no way that the GOP was going to get in the way of the Democrats currently chainsawing themselves over this, of course: Allahpundit has the timeline, as well as the helpful observation that the Senate, the Illinois Democratic Party, and President-Elect Obama got smacked around good and hard by a deeply unpopular Democratic Governor who is looking at spending a large portion of the rest of his life behind bars. And, bluntly? Rod Blagojevich made it look easy. In other words, the Democrats have fully embarrassed themselves on this one, and everybody knows it.
So roll on 2010. Because now the Democrats are stuck with Blagojevich appointee Burris in that seat.
Judicial Watch is filing the suit on behalf of a concerned citizen, John Vincent, against the US Senate, the Secretary of the Senate, and the Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate:
Washington, DC — January 7, 2009
Senate’s Refusal to Accept Roland Burris Appointment Violates U.S. Constitution
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it is filing a lawsuit on behalf of an Illinois resident against the United States Senate for denying former Illinois Attorney General Roland Burris his rightful position as the junior Senator from Illinois. In accordance with the U.S. Constitution and Illinois state law, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich appointed Burris to fill the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama. Nonetheless, at the direction of Senate leaders, Secretary of the Senate Nancy Erikson rejected Mr. Burris’ appointment and has denied him entry to the U.S. Senate. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of John Vincent, a longtime Illinois resident. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and names as defendants the United States Senate, and its Secretary and Sergeant At Arms.
According to the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a state’s governor, with authority from the legislature, may appoint a Senator in the event of a vacancy. Illinois law specifically states: “When a vacancy shall occur in the office of the United States Senator from this state, the Governor shall make temporary appointment to fill such vacancy until the next election of representatives in Congress, at which time such vacancy shall be filled by election, and the senator so elected shall take office as soon thereafter as he shall receive his certificate of election.”
Moreover, according to Judicial Watch’s lawsuit: “The U.S. Constitution guarantees Plaintiff the right to representation by two U.S. Senators in the U.S. Senate… [Therefore, the U.S. Senate's] refusal to allow Mr. Burris to be sworn in as the junior U.S. Senator from the State of Illinois and to otherwise occupy his rightful position as member of the U.S. Senate violates the U.S. Constitution.”
“Blagojevich may be a crook but the Burris appointment is consistent with the law and must be respected. The Senate has no legal authority to deny Mr. Burris his rightful position in the U.S. Senate. The citizens of Illinois are entitled to full representation in the United State Senate,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Few have been more critical of Blagojevich than Judicial Watch, but the law is the law.”
For several years, Judicial Watch has investigated the corrupt activities of Blagojevich, who was arrested on December 9, 2008 for attempting to “sell” the Obama seat, among other corruption charges. On Thursday, December 18, 2008, Judicial Watch Director of Litigation Paul Orfanedes testified before Illinois House Special Investigative Committee considering impeachment of Governor Blagojevich.
Today, JudicialWatch.org posted a press release with documentation they obtained through a FOIA request related to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s contacts with Barak Hussein Obama and his transition team:
Washington, DC — January 5, 2009
Includes December 3, 2008, Letter to “Rod” Signed by Obama
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the office of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich through the Freedom of Information Act related to Blagojevich’s contacts with President-elect Obama and his transition team. The documents include a December 3, 2008, letter from Barack Obama following his December 2, 2008, meeting with Blagojevich as well as a November 17, 2008, letter signed by Presidential Transition Team co-chairs Valerie Jarrett and John Podesta providing Blagojevich with a list of transition team contacts.
The following are excerpts from the letter signed by President-elect Obama on December 3, 2008, less than one week before authorities arrested Blagojevich for attempting to “sell” Obama’s now-vacant Senate seat, among other corruption charges:
“Thank you for meeting with me on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Vice President-elect Joe Biden and I were pleased with the open discussion.”
“As we discussed, I would appreciate any advice you can provide to me and my team on the biggest roadblocks to states in moving forward in ‘getting ready to go’ projects started quickly.”
“In addition, I welcome any advice you can provide me and my team on revitalizing and reinvigorating the state-federal partnership. I want to make it a priority of my Administration to work closely with you.”
“I look forward to working with you and hitting the ground running on January 20th.”
“On behalf of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden we want you to know of our strong interest in working with you in the months to come. As you may know we have formed a Presidential Transition Team so that the new Administration will be prepared to confront the extraordinary challenges facing our country. Your leadership and experience will be invaluable in this effort and we hope you will not hesitate to share your insights during this process.”
“These documents tend to undermine Obama’s claims that he had no contact with Blagojevich and suggest his transition is hiding documents about such contacts,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Why did President-elect Obama not release this letter? What else is he hiding?”